MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka
THE Non-Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) is impressed with the increasing numbers of female members of Parliament (MPs) in the country.
Chairperson Sara Longwe said the increased numbers is a clear demonstration of appreciation and positive contribution of women in national development.
Ms Longwe said this in her congratulatory message to newly-elected Petauke Central MP Dora Siliya and Mulobezi constituencyâ€™s Patricia Mulasikwanda in a press statement.
â€œWe congratulate the people of Petauke and Mulobezi for setting a good example by re-electing the two female parliamentarians.NGOCC is pleased to note that the numbers of women representatives in Parliament are steadily increasing, though still below the acceptable standards as set in both the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Gender and African Union (AU) protocols on womenâ€™s rights,â€ Ms Longwe said.
She said low numbers of women in decision-making positions, especially in politics, are a source of concern to her organisation. There should be equitable representation for both men and women at all levels of the political spectrum.
â€œIt is a fact that the ability of women to make decisions that affect their personal circumstances is an essential element to their empowerment and serves as an important contributor to the overall development of the country,â€ she said.
Ms Longwe said as the country prepares for the 2016 elections, it is important that all political parties adopt more women as candidates at all levels.
She has also urged more women to offer themselves as candidates, at local Government, parliamentary and Presidential level.
Ms Longwe is also concerned with increased incidences of political violence, especially the use of guns during elections.
â€œViolence is one of the contributing factors that discouraged most women from participating in politics. We also urge all the leaders of the various political parties to denounce political violence,â€ she said.
MWAPE MWENYA, Lusaka